Salaries for Doctors on the Island Will Increase / Cubanet, Roberto
Posted on February 27, 2015
Cubanet, Roberto Jesus Quinones, Guantanamo, 16 February 2015 — A rumor
is keeping the medical sector in Guantanamo euphoric, and it provokes
immediate outbursts of joy in hospital corridors, in homes and in every
place the supposedly good news is known. No one knows the origin of the
rumor nor its hidden intent.
According to those who are in charge of spreading it, very soon the
government will increase the salary for doctors. And, as happens with
every rumor, there are always those who know everything about it and
affirm that the new increase will be put into force to try to contain
the exodus of physicians abroad by way of a 30-day exit permit, a type
of safe conduct that helps them flee.
These experts assure that the new increase will raise physicians'
salaries to 5,000 pesos per month (200 dollars), an astronomical pay in
Cuba, but that they'll only receive it if they agree to sign a document
saying they will remain in the country for five or ten years without
asking for the exit permit.
However, a few days after the rumor appeared, the voices of others begin
to be heard. They speak clearly, affirming that not even with this
increase, which would place the doctors in the vanguard of the Castro
Communist labor aristocracy — now made up of Party and governmental
bureaucracy along with the sportsmen of high performance and the high
officials of the armed forces and the Ministry of the Interior — would
they be able to contain the massive exodus of these professionals
abroad. Above all to Ecuador, a country that doesn't request visas and
where there already exists a developing but prosperous Cuban medical
community that has taken care of communicating to its colleagues on the
Island the high lifestyle that is rapidly achieved in the land of Eloy
Because 5,000 Cuban pesos are around 200 dollars, a sum very inferior to
what any Cuban doctor could earn abroad.
Between the well-being within reach and the promises of a prosperous and
sustainable socialism, which no one knows when it will arrive nor if
also there is another rumor or a new feverish chimera of the Cuban
leaders, you don't have to rack your brains to decide. Stupid people are
more scarce every day, and the ideological teque* has been in intensive
care for some time.
I don't know what the government will do to stop this flight of doctors,
which has a direct effect on one of its most trumpeted social
accomplishments — currently in a very precarious state, among other
things because of the lack of specialists — and on the export of health
services, which is perhaps, together with tourism, the most lucrative
activity of the Cuban economy at this time.
In case the rumor becomes a certainty, let's see what happens with the
other professionals, because the flight of qualified personnel is not
limited to the medical sector. Pandora's Box is open, and the government
doesn't give any signs that will let us believe it is possible to close
it and, above all, to convince us.
*Translator's note: "Teque" is literally a spinning top, and is used in
Cuba to mean old, worn out, political harangues.
Translated by Regina Anavy
Source: Salaries for Doctors on the Island Will Increase / Cubanet,
Roberto Jesus Quinones | Translating Cuba -